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Research Projects

FY 2006/2007 Research Topic: 4-33
Regional Integration Theories and East Asia


Theories on regional integration have been developed in the fields of international relations (IR) and international political economy (IPE) in Europe and the United States, based mainly on European and American experiences. The ongoing regional integration processes in East Asia, however, may differ from those in the "West." They do not aim to achieve an advanced level of integration like in the European Union (EU). Moreover, simultaneously with the progress of East Asian regional integration, institutional integration processes between East Asian countries and "extra-regional" countries such as India, Australia, New Zealand and the United States, have also gained momentum. In effect, these frameworks of integration (or cooperation) are forming a multilayered structure in East Asia. How, then, do existing IR/IPE theories explain the recent regional integration phenomena in East Asia? Can they fully explain what is happening?

Our study aims to carry out two tasks. The first is to survey regional integration theories of IR/IPE and the second is to examine how well these theories explain the reality of East Asia. If the study finds a prospect for setting a new approach toward East Asian regional integration, a follow-up research project will be organized to study the issue further.


April 2006 - March 2007


OKAMOTO Jiro (Inter-desciplinary Studies Center)

Members of the Research Project

OKAMOTO Jiro (Inter-desciplinary Studies Center)


  • The final results will be published as a Research Report (in Japanese) in March 2007.